CS Students Outperform in Race for ‘World’s Smartest Trophy’

Computer science students from Georgia Tech’s College of Computing finished 15th among 128 international teams in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest Finals, held this week in Morocco.

It is a triumphant finish in a challenging competition often referred to as the “World’s Smartest Trophy.” The contest asks teams to solve complex algorithms in less than five hours on a single computer. It was a race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance.

Competing for Georgia Tech were Zhongtian Jiang and Yijie Wang, undergraduates in computer science, and Hanjun Dai, masters student in computer science. They were led by coach Ben Cousins, a PhD candidate in algorithms, combinatorics and optimization. The team was joined by Troy Peace and Alyshia Jackson from the Office of Outreach, Enrollment and Community.

“We are so proud of this team and their tremendous advancement in an incredibly difficult competition,” said Dean Zvi Galil. “This was Georgia Tech’s best performance in a decade and it is further evidence of the passion for problem solving that our students hold.”

Getting to the world finals in Marrakech came with its own pressure. Georgia Tech competed in regional North American contests to advance. In all, more than 38,160 students from 2,534 universities in 101 countries across six continents sought to reach the world finals. Few did, and the competition in Morocco represented the best of the best.

The final results left Georgia Tech tied with Carnegie Mellon, Harvard University, University of California at Los Angeles and University of Southern California. Only two other teams from North America performed better -- Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California at Berkeley. Harvard was the last North American team to crack into the top 10 in 2012. Georgia Tech received honorable mentions in 2012, 2008, 2006 and 2005.

The top 12 teams in 2015 received medals.

  • St. Petersburg National Research University of IT, Mechanics and Optics (GOLD, 2015 WORLD CHAMPION)
  • Moscow State University (GOLD, 2nd Place)
  • The University of Tokyo (GOLD, 3rd Place)
  • Tsinghua University (GOLD, 4th Place)
  • Peking University (SILVER, 5th Place)
  • University of California at Berkeley (SILVER, 6th Place)
  • University of Zagreb (SILVER, 7th Place)
  • Charles University in Prague (SILVER, 8th Place)
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University (BRONZE, 9th Place)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (BRONZE, 10th Place)
  • Korea University (BRONZE, 11th, Place)
  • University of Warsaw (BRONZE, 12th Place)

For a full list of teams, visit: http://icpc.baylor.edu/worldfinals/teams.